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Elizabeth Broderick has been the Sex Discrimination Commissioner since 2007. Over the coming weekend she will appear as both a panellist and speaker at the International Women’s Day breakfasts which are happening across Australia.
Why did you say yes to being a panellist and speaker at this year’s International Women’s Day?
I said yes for a number of reasons; but primarily in my role as Sex Discrimination Commissioner the more people that I can engage with, and take the message of gender equality to, means there is greater awareness across Australia in regards to gender equality. Hence, the more likely we are to make progress.
The United Nations estimates that 70% of the world’s poorest people are women.
Lack of access to education, coercion into early marriage and unequal share of both income and land are all contributing factors in making women more susceptible to poverty. International Women’s Day, held globally on March 8th, is a day reserved for looking back on past struggles but more importantly looking ahead to the untapped potential and opportunities that await future generations of women.
The statistics against women are staggering:
- Over 61% of illiterate youth worldwide are women. Education is critical in the fight against poverty as it can assist women to find decent and well-paid work.
Grace Hill is an International Women’s Day Intern for the Australian National Committee for UN Women.
I am not much of a runner so for me the idea of ‘the happiest 5km on the planet’ seemed like something terribly unrealistic. However, when I began my internship at the Australian National Committee for UN Women last year, I challenged myself to embrace any opportunity that arose which could help improve the lives of women and girls around the world. So when the National Committee decided to put a team together, I decided that this was a great chance to generate change in a simple way.
Wow. It really doesn’t feel like a month has passed, it’s gone so fast.
THIMUN 2014 was a brilliant experience that will never be forgotten. The trip itself was a combination of making brilliant memories with brilliant people all the while partaking in an incredible learning experience that changed the way many of the delegates and facilitators saw the world.
I won’t run you through the trip day by day since realistically that would make the article roughly 20 pages long! To run through the basics – we started our trip in Berlin (in my opinion the best city of the entire trip) and whilst there visited many historic sights, the focus of which was on museums and memorials as we tried to comprehend the intense modern history of this incredible city.
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You’d have probably heard by now that this years Australian Youth Rep to the UN is the well-deserving Laura John. The 24-year-old Melbournite has an impressive history of leadership roles and initiatives with the likes of the Oaktree Foundation, the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre and most recently Human Rights First in New York City, all the while completing her Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Law at Monash University.
Even at her busiest, Laura was happy to take some time and chat with us about the year ahead, how she stays motivated and her plans for the future.
UN YOUTH: Can you please briefly tell us about some of the other projects and work you’ve been involved in before UN Youth?